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Who's At Fault? Understanding Fault In Auto Accidents

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One of your first post-accident priorities may be to get medical care for your injuries and begin the healing process. That process, however, might be incomplete without getting compensated financially for your accident. If the other driver caused your accident, you can expect to be paid for your pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and so much more. You may be wondering how fault is determined in a wreck like yours, so read on to learn more.

Supporting Facts

Though you may not have thought much about it, fault is not always obvious, and sometimes just using common sense to determine fault is not the entire answer. You can, however, seek out the forms of support offered below to help you not only see who was at fault for yourself but to support your personal injury case.

The Police Report

As long as a member of law enforcement responded to the scene of the accident there will be documented proof of it. Contact the responding agency if you were not provided with a copy at the scene. This report is full of important and useful information about the wreck, but most importantly, it might contain the responding officer's opinion about the way the accident happened and who caused it.

Disobedience of Traffic Laws

Every state has a set of laws governing the rules of the road and you can often look them up by accessing the appropriate website. You can also check your local library and department of motor vehicles for reference material and handbooks that concern traffic laws. Once you locate the specific laws violated by the other driver, make a note of the wording and the statute number. It will come in handy when you speak to your personal injury attorney or to the insurance company.

Situations That Usually Involve Other-Driver Fault

A few types of wrecks almost always are the fault of only one driver. In the situations below, the insurance companies are far more likely to agree to your compensation demands due to the likelihood of their driver being in the wrong.

1. Rear-End Collisions: No matter how suddenly you came to a stop, it is the responsibility of the driver behind you to pay attention to the traffic flow and to maintain a safe distance from the cars in front. Most of the time, these accidents are caused by the driver in back being distracted and not paying attention, driving too fast for conditions and following too closely. There are rare instances where you may share some fault for rear-end collisions, however. For example, if your brake lights were not working and the roadway was too dark for the other driver to see you then you may share a great deal of the fault for the accident.

2. Left-Turn Accidents: When a driver attempts to turn across a lane or two of oncoming traffic they must yield to all traffic in the oncoming lane. The only exceptions to that would be that if you ran a red light and collided with the left-turning vehicle.

Speak to an experienced injury lawyer to learn more about proving fault.